Attended by: Susannah Goh (Birmingham Science City) ‑ Chair
  Hugo Russell (Innovation Birmingham)
  Simon Whitehouse (Data Unlocked)
  Pauline Roche (RnR Organisation)
  Ardavan Amini (BCU)
  Stuart Lester (Digital Birmingham)
  Chris Price (digiconsultancy) ‑ Secretary
Apologies: Heike Schuster‑James (Digital Birmingham)
  Andrew McKenzie (Open Mercia)
1.   The notes of the last meeting of 14th October were agreed.
Actions: Meeting venue resolved, thanks to HR.
Yammer group established, thanks to Paul Beckley.
Blog posted, thanks to SW.
Noted: Silicon Canal list tech events.
2.   Updates
Transport data event organised by Centro was successful in generating ideas contributed by the 70‑plus attendees.  The winning proposal was awarded at the recent Smart City Alliance event.
Through the Creative Digital Economy  Catapult, a health‑oriented hack was being proposed.  HR suggested that links are made with Creative Digital Health Solutions.
The Birmingham City Council Open Data portal continues to be developed and standard data sets are being uploaded.  Progress is steady and requests for data that would be maintained through API’s are being reviewed.  Funding is available to sponsor data content.  Digital Birmingham is seeking data which may be generated by other funded projects.  Using the Breakthrough Fund, a specification has been created for extracts and submitted to Service Birmingham.  One constraint is the need for sufficient data points to preserve anonymity, eg under a location analysis.  It is planned that Housing data will be loaded, starting with BCC information, in January, and moving onto Housing Associations – Boilerhouse and RnR have so far been involved.  The opportunities of joining up projects were discussed.
SW talked about the Share‑PSI European project led locally by Digital Birmingham (see blog for overview).  A report on the Samos workshop has been published.  The event in Lisbon focussed on developing frameworks for commercial agreement; Heike from Digital Birmingham is involved in the risk assessment of data release.  There are further events and SW encouraged WMODF members to stay involved through Digital Birmingham.  The next meeting will be in Timisoara, Romania, focussing on the identification of data sets for public engagement and is likely to have a technical focus.  The final workshop will be in November 2015 with a project end in March 2016.  SW mentioned opportunities such as the Erasmus project (  Virgin Media, through Brian Mitchell, were interested in innovative business uses of their wi‑fi network in Birmingham.
PR described the data drive held on 19th November as a fringe event of Birmingham Made Me.  The 12 attendees were given information about Open Mercia and Share‑PSI and then engaged in ‘speed‑dating’ sponsored by BIP.  Further events are planned for the New Year.
SG mentioned her work with the West Midlands Academic Health Network.  Neil Mortimer, Head of Programmes, is leading on the network’s digital remit.  However, SG is leading specifically on Open Data.  The Innolife Consortium (pan‑European) has been awarded the status of EIT Health Knowledge Innovation Community (KIC), looking particularly at healthy and active ageing.  Total resourcing across the six participant countries averages £60m per annum over seven years.  Activities are expected to include projects, business acceleration and education and training.
AA described the work of BCU under AMSCI (Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative) grants looking at how to get companies voluntarily to share data on a platform.  The aim is to build a platform onto which data is placed with measures linked to jobs created, jobs safeguarded.
There was a discussion of further opportunities:
·         Training in writing Freedom of Information requests.
·         Open data camp in Wiltshire on 21st and 22nd February.
·         The new building of Innovation Birmingham will begin construction on 5th January.
3.   Future Development
The broad aim for WMODF is to build wider links in 2015.  Open Mercia was in contact with ODI and ODF.  There was the possibility of forming a Knowledge Quarter in Birmingham.  There was a groundswell in data use in the community area.  It was felt that the Data Protection Act needs to be redefined as a Data Sharing Act.
It would be useful to create a register of who is doing what in Open Data in the Region.
It should be an aim of WMODF to build a cluster group of data developers linking to activities in Stafford and Shrewsbury.
It was agreed to start the process of collecting what’s happening with a ‘Post‑It’ wall at the next meeting.
In summary, it was felt that the strength of WMODF lay in its positioning with both developers and providers.
4.   The next meeting will be in February.  Wednesday 18th February was initially agreed but as this is half‑term week an alternative date will be set.
AA offered to circulate further details of the AMSCI project and the contacts in Cabinet office.
SG to link SL and Marc Hudson
%d bloggers like this: